A repeat from September 2004

Quoted from Mr. Damon, who has since moved away from the internet.

 

Now let me be clear about something. I am not a Christian, but I am neither anti-Christian nor anti-church. I recognize and support modes of thought and faith and communion that provide people with solace, strength and a sense of vibrancy and blessing. I DO NOT have a high regard for fundamentalist, literalist philosophies and the oppressive, narrow and, in some cases, violent behaviors that they promote. That has little to do with religion and Spirit, in my opinion, and a whole lot do with fear, control and ambitions toward dominion.

To bring harm, hardship, anxiety and death to your enemies — who are in fact your human + natural relations — in the name of a deity, or with a notion of divine guidance + supremacy, is an act of utmost ignorance and an affront to all of that which is our true nature and purpose.

Memo to the world if I’m ever killed in a terrorist attack

Memo to the world if I’m ever killed in a terrorist attack.

I’d like to deliver a pre-event FUCK YOU to the media, sort of a “Panopticon friendly living will”.

I am an atheist, so please don’t drag God into it.  God had nothing to do with mining the uranium out of the ground, or fabricating the explosives, or manufacturing the ricin, or in any way constructing whatever method blew me to bits or poisoned or drowned or suffocated me.  Nope it was people, mostly men, who put me in the ludicrous position of trying to speak to you from my grave.

I don’t want the government to use my death as an excuse to harass people of colour; people who look different from my variously pink and white corpus; people who never had the complex edifices of hereditary and colonial privilege which are my daily and mostly unrecognized portion.  The war on terror is a failure; my death is proof of that, but this proof will get drowned in a sea of wall to wall “How awful, how terrible, buy my hot chocolate pls” coverage.  Besides, as I see it, I’m more likely to get killed by a domestic terrorist, lone wolves with grudges can walk into any church and start blasting away, and they don’t even need a coherent world view to act.

I don’t want the people I love to use it as an excuse to hate anybody.  Fifty-two years on this ball o’ mud have taught me that only about 1 percent, maybe fewer, of human beings have the power to withstand social pressure when surrounded by the tribal emblems and ranting anthems and religious indoctrination that we grow up in, wherever we are; whether it’s the Inerrant Holy Text or the cult of Apple, we need our tribes and their shibboleths – and all the wit and good intentions and scientific advancement of 20 centuries means squat in the face of that drive.  We try, we fail, we try again.  A child is born; we vow to try again.  A loved one dies, we rededicate ourselves.  We are puny, but it’s hardly an excuse.

I have tried to join a tribe – or tribes – that at least look at human suffering and try to diminish it.  I am angry, as angry as a human can be, at the starvation and false imprisonment and environmental destruction of people across the globe, but I don’t want to make it worse by running out and killing folks in revenge, even if I think they deserve it.

So my tribe of filkers (look it up, I’m tired of explaining it) sings and brings the making and sharing of beauty into its heart, and my family tries to integrate a lot of different world-views without breaking, and my tribe of Unitarians tries to stay cheerful, motivated and active for justice in the face of a lot of angst and doubt, and my tribe of coworkers tries very hard to make and support good products, although the way the global supply chain is looking that’s harder every year.

And now I’m dead, and my tribes will miss me.  I’ll get a paragraph when they do a write up about the dead.  Well let ‘em know.  I loved the world, and I was sorry to leave it with so much undone.  But I didn’t want revenge, and I want any grief to work its way into a useful memorial for the benefit of the world.  And, FUCK YOU, mass media. Whatever you do, whatever you say, you’re going to get it wrong.

Oooh, I just had an idea for a tshirt

Believe me, the artwork I’ve made up to go with this makes this even more offensive – and I do it all with line art and print.

When we get to discussing

imaginary friends,

my God’s not a dick.

I thought of another one, but it’s even ruder, and I know mein pOp will thank me for keeping it air.

Another one

Of course I made God in my own image;

we all need a girlfriend with a sense of humour.

I’ll be the only one who thinks it’s funny

Most of you reading this don’t have facebook, which is where I hang out much more than this blog these days.  Paul just put up that he’s In a Relationship with Janice Murray, and it’s complicated.  Oh yes.  My poor response to his relationship with Janice Murray is why our 24 year relationship went into the ground.  I’m not blaming Paul, he did what he had to at the time to maintain his autonomy, and that’s neither funny nor worth mocking.

No, what’s funny is that I immediately posted lol as a one word response, and that the minister immediately posted that she wanted to meet her.  THAT is going to make me chuckle every time I think of it for the next few weeks.  Somehow I can’t see Janice going for that, (I haven’t spoken civilly to Janice in four years or so…. and her marriage to Alan has also tracked its way into an oubliette …. point being I can’t know her mind, but I just can’t see her sitting still for meeting Paul’s minister no matter how I construe it) and she probably won’t have to as the minister is outtahere after the last weekend in June.  Then Rev Katie has to go through a year long period of non communication with her former parishioners, as per the unbelievably arcane and inhumane (but grounded in harsh experience) rules for ministry in the CUC/UUA.  There is even one more reason to find this post of Paul’s amusing, but since it involves conversations that are DNQ, I’ll have to keep my “It Gets Better” speech to myself.

Alash, it ish too bad.  Deer eats bird.

Food

Last night I fed Tom, Peggy, Ben, Paul, Keith and Jeff pork roast done with garlic, bacon and bay leaves (it made the house smell REALLY GOOD) and many, many vegetables, including beans and cauliflower and broccoli and beets and potatoes.  Katie and her housemates were invited, but Katie was already on tap to do shrimp and spinach canneloni that night so she turned me down with thanks.  It would have been an ‘add two leaves to the dining room table and where the hell are the chairs going to come from’ evening if they HAD come, so I don’t complain and I added some chairs to my want list.

Margot quacked like a duck for the folks.  She has a doctor’s appointment on Monday; she needs to be checked out for heart problems, which are quite common in Persians and don’t necessarily show up during the work up prior to neutering; her quacking and breathing issues may be normal Persian noisiness or it may be something more sinister.  She’s so placid, except when I’m brushing her, that she doesn’t appear to have any problems otherwise.  I keep telling myself that she’s like a kid… I get to look after her for a while, and then she’ll leave my life; I’m attached to her but I hope not too intransigent on the subject.  And it’s my own damn fault that I brought her into a household where it would be impossible to keep her as an indoor cat.  She gets FILTHY sometimes, having all that fun out in the rain and dirt.  If it’s really pouring she won’t go out, but light precip doesn’t seem to register.

Back to the Friday Feast.  I said to Ben, “There are two pinball machines downstairs.”  He said, “I’ve never played pinball in my life.”

shock,  horror!

We fixed that. Obviously he must play pinball before he goes to Hudson’s Hope.  (He got a job with Hydro).

After Tom Peggy and Ben went home, I decided I needed both air and exercise, and Paul and I wandered around the neighbourhood looking at the Christmas lights (Keith and Jeff were busy killing zombies in the trial version of Zombie Apocalypse). There are some spectacular displays, especially close to the school.  Then we came back after about half an hour and I picked up the guitar and composed another (what, another frakking tune, what the ???) song, which I think is going to be called “God Willing” and be about the immigration of my ancestors to Canada. No lyrics yet.  I know; for an atheist, I’m such a sucky accommodationist.  But you would be too if you had so many religious relatives, who also happened to be pleasant, intelligent and hard-working.

That’s the single biggest issue I have with the media atheists (I FLATLY REFUSE to use New Atheists.  That’s like calling people who are Christian NEW CHRISTIANS. Atheists are atheists, there’s nothing novel about them, and you can see their lineage throughout history from Epicurus forward.)  They are on the “All theists are stupid” train, whereas I am on the “All human beings have cognitive biases, and atheists may have at least one fewer than theists” train.  Also, many media atheists have the distinct advantage of not giving two shits what their religious relatives think of them, an advantage I don’t have.  It’s why I don’t give vent to some of my more shocking opinions (yes, hard to believe, isn’t it?  But much goes on behind my face that doesn’t come out in my blog).  I was a lot more venty when I started this blog, as I recollect.   I don’t usually go back into the old format portion of the blog unless I’m trying to figure out what happened in say, July of 2005.

Keith called up the optician’s office he was still working at on Saturday (he didn’t give that other job completely up, the wise soul) and hopefully he’ll be getting more hours later this month.  It’s hard to be a young person these days.

Today, AVATAR.  I am very stoked.  Now to check the hellacious mess that is the Translink site and plan my trip itinerary.

I so enjoy feeding people.  It makes me feel good, and that was a damned fine roast.  I miss the rosemary bush from the front of my old house.  A sprig of rosemary in the roasting pan would have made it even more wondrous.

Point form updates

  1. Katie got the job, she starts today at 9:30 am.  It is ONE 20 minute bus ride from her house.  Unless the traffic is bad, then it’s about half an hour.  Commuting in the GVRD is hellish, so Katie well knows what a good deal this is, especially since her last interview was in North Van.
  2. My emotions as a consequence may be best summarized as vigilate et orate.
  3. Miss Margot is being very grumpy about having her hair done.  I may have to haul her off to the “professial Persian hedge trimmers” and get her done, which I’d prefer not to as winter is coming.  I tried trimming her myself but her fur is so very fine that it slides through the guide without ever coming near the shears.
  4. My attempt at soup making (chicken with rice) had one heart stopping moment during which I accidentally added rather more paprika than I expected.  Once tasted, however, the soup declared itself happy, and even Keith had some.
  5. This house is not a dude ranch for misfits and unemployables.  The rest of this paragraph I deleted out of deference to the feelings of him what this is in regard to.
  6. It has never gotten quite warm or dry enough for me to cut the grass one last time before winter starts in earnest.  I will when I can.
  7. I have done some more unpacking, and found some bedding which I probably can’t use as it looks doublish as opposed to twinnish or queenish..  However, it’s pure cotton, so I’m thinking of giving it to Paul, if he can stand having something in screeching lilac stripes.
  8. I carved out a pumpkin in the shape of Lafayette’s face.  I’m thinking of cutting up a white sheet I found to make wee ghosties.
  9. Jeff has posted the pinball instructions AND the high scores list.  Let the high score smackdowns commence!
  10. Homicide Season Seven is OUT THERE.  But when Munch starts spouting off (again, again) about how the government is storing information on law abiding citizens, he sounds quite prescient.  The whole show happened before 9/11.
  11. There is biscotti dough in the fridge.
  12. I would like to thank from the bottom of my heart my mother, Unca Barry, Ontie Mary, and the other relatives who assisted with a newly published family project. Barry’s preface in particular choked me up… we can never know what really happened, but we can preserve and think about what we have left, and be grateful that our relatives left us something to go on.
  13. I am reading through the family letters of, and with respect to, Bootlegging Mary.  Long time readers of this blog will hazily recollect that I went to a family reunion and heard about a relative who ran a corner gas station in Saskatchewan (I am at a loss to understand HOW this could be a more Canuckistani reference) and was, possibly, likely, a bootlegger. I wrote a song for her and begged for more detail.  The wheels of family genealogy have ground slow and fine, and to my wonderment and edification, the letters have been translated and published.  Words cannot express my gratitude.  Now I’m reading what it was like between the two World Wars for my Mennonite kin back in olt contry, and I’m amazed and humbled at the crap they lived through – all the while trusting and praising God with an deep and consistent piety. (Even as they got into it hammer and tongs about a disputed legacy… may we all take suitable notice of this falling out, which had tragic consequences for some).  In one letter there is a third hand account (as it’s a letter to a relative from another relative about a third relative’s doings).  The recently married daughter walked through her mum and dad’s village with her husband, and every last person in the village was gone.  They had fled across the frozen river from Siberia to China, with nothing but transportation, food and clothing.  She had seen her father the night before, and while he looked downcast he hadn’t breathed a word of the flight to his daughter.
  14. She is alleged to have said, in describing what she did when she walked through her parents’ deserted house, “I took the cat in my arms and the guitar down from the wall.”  I got chills when I read that.  She went straight for the two things I would have dealt with first.  The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree…..

Rounding up some unusual suspects

Really thought provoking article about the ‘institution’ of marriage by a gay writer in Seattle.

An 8 minute video about Medicare. For Americans, by Canadians.  Rational, good tempered and funny in spots.

Adolf Hitler doesn’t like Avatar.  The last line slew me. Three minutes or so long.

How come and for why hasn’t this extra solar planet burnt up? I suspect that they aren’t actually seeing what they are looking at properly.

How many dimensions did you say? Assistance in visualizing multiple dimensions.  Brain so hurts.

Do the wave…. the gravity wave.

Human ingredients Tshirt.

It’s unbelievable what people will get messed up over. Personal comment: It may reveal me to be a philistine, but I like Verdana.  I don’t understand the issue.  I just don’t.

Chrissie Hynde told meat eaters in her audience to fuck themselves.  Mike and Jeff and I sat there with hot dogs in our tummies and just looked at each other.  On the other hand, just to prove I’m at least TRYING to see the other person’s point of view, here’s a PETA press release about some of her animal activism.  Hint:  she doesn’t like McDonalds.

The New Miss Universe.  Beautiful, and without a hint of distinction.

The Milky Way has rarely looked so beautiful.

That’s just MEAN. So why did I snicker?

Do it yourself Horrrrorrrr F/X.  Shows Peter Jackson filming Bad Taste.

The difference between a man and a boy is that a man takes pictures of his toys.

“I’m an atheist because I’m efficient.”  Or so you can infer from Bill Gates’ interview excerpts…

Finally, a quiz where it’s easy to get 100%.